In a recent interview with both PIL executive chairman SS Teo, and his father and company founder Chang with CNBC's Managing Asia programme it was revealed Chang still goes to the office everyday despite having officially stood down as chairman earlier this year, a move he said he made, “Because I'm getting old already.”
Asked by interviewer Christine Tan why he still goes to the office every day Chang said: “It's my habit. I cannot stay at home,” and that he did stay at home he'd be “very, very bored”.
All the company's department heads still meet with Chang on a daily basis. His son Teo explianed; “All the division heads, department heads, will see him before they travel. He will have everybody's travel schedules. So, all the seniors before they leave they will see him, and they will see him again after they come back. So in a way he will brief them, also they will report back to him the outcome of the trip. So in a way, he still gets updated.”
Teo himself said he talked to his father twice a day about the business and described him as being “ultimate-in-charge”.
Read more: PIL chairman YC Chang stands down
Family-owned, privately held, PIL ranks as one of the world's top 10 container lines, asked by Tan why the company did not go public Chang said: “Shipping very competitive, if you go public, you have to list out information about all your activities to the outside. But being private, we get to keep it in our company.”
At 100-years old Chang also ranks as the world's oldest billionaire having founded PIL 51-years ago at the age of 49, asked if he was happy with what he'd built so far, he replied: “Yes, I am. I am. Last time, Singapore had 15 (shipping companies). Now, only one, PIL can survive. Shipping is a very tough business. Very, very tough.”